As recommended by many child counselors, the first six years of your child’s life are the most important formative years. This is the time when the child learns several skills of life. At the time of birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons. Providing loving and language enriched experiences for your baby provides the brain’s neural connections and pathways higher chances to get wired together. As a result, he will acquire reasoning, rich language, and planning skills.
How to improve your Kid’s Brain Power
Here is a list of some effective ways to improve brain power among your kids. Although the list is long, they are really simple things that can reap huge benefits for your child in the long run.
Give your baby a physically healthy start before birth: It is very important to stay healthy while you are pregnant. This makes it even crucial to know that certain drugs can produce destructive effects on the baby’s brain while still in the womb. Many children who were drug abused in womb struggle with serious learning problems. They act suddenly with unprovoked aggressive behaviors. It has also been revealed through studies that cigarette smoking during pregnancy leads to lower fourth grade reading scores.
Play games that involve hands: Babies respond well to learning simple sequential games, like peekaboo, patty-cake, this little piggy, and similar more. Try to learn more of the kind and get involved with your child for effective development of brain power.
Have evocative conversations: Respond to your child’s coos with delighted vocalizations. Gradually, draw out your syllables in a high-pitched voice as you exclaim “beautiful!” This would make the child’s brain understand speech. Your input would help him produce language.
Be attentive: Make sure to follow with a gaze whenever your baby points and remark on items or events of interest. This joint attention would indicate your attentiveness to his/her interests and observations.
Encourage an early passion for books: Select books with large and colorful pictures to attract your child’s attention. Share your baby’s delight in pointing to these pictures and making noises, like animal sounds from pictures. You can also elaborate or simplify on story lines through voice modulation.
Choose developmentally apt toys: Choose toys for your kids that allow them to interact and explore. Toys like stackable blocks or a windup jack-in-the-box help the child learn about cause and effect relationships thus developing reasoning power in the brain.
Use body massage: Body massage helps to decrease your infant’s stress. It also induces the feeling of well-being and emotional security. Loving touches promote growth in young babies – not only physical but mental as well.
Respond promptly to your baby’s cries: This is very important. Make sure to soothe, nurture, cuddle, and reassure him for positive brain development. Your cuddling and calm holding along with everyday intimate engagement with the child signals emotional security to the brain.
Ask help from your toddler during clean-up times: This is a good way to practice categorization. This way, your toddler will learn that stuffed animals have one place to go for at night while other toys like cars and trucks have a separate storage place. Children should learn to sort into categories as a part of their cognitive development.
Match your tempo to your child’s temperament: Every child is different with a unique behavior. While some might adjust easily to strange emotions, others can be bold or impulsive. Some children are extremely shy. Try to go with the flow as you try to increase a shy child’s courage and comfort level. You can help a highly active child use his wonderful energy safely while learning to control his impulses. Your acceptance will provide the required comfort to experiment and learn freely.
Make meal time and rest time positive: Meal and rest time is the time when you can have productive interaction with your toddler. During meal time, say the names of foods out loud as your baby eats. Express your happiness as he/she learns to feed themselves. Don’t worry about the initial messy attempts. This will help you inculcate good associations with eating and mealtime. Battles and nagging about food can lead to negative emotional brain patterns.
Set up a safe environment: Make sure to set up a safe environment for your toddler or crawling baby. Spatial learning is very important. Your mobile child must learn about parameters like over, under, far, and near. He would be able to develop mental maps of his environment and a comfy relationship with the surrounding world.
Use Positive Discipline : Try to create clear consequences without frightening or causing shame to your child. If your child behaves inappropriately, like hitting others, it is suggested to use a serious, low tone of voice while getting down to his eye level and restate the rule very clearly. Try to keep the rules simple, consistent and reasonable for your child’s age.
Ensure supervised play with messy materials: Make sure to supervise when your child is playing with messy material like sand, water, and mud. This will help you teach your child about physics and properties of textures and mixtures, solids and liquids. During bath time, the brain gets knowledge about water, terry towel textures, and slippery soap. Sensory experiences are a must for the learning brain.
Model empathic feelings for others: Try to use “teachable moments” when someone seems upset or sad to help your toddler learn about caring, feelings, sharing, and kindness. Creating more brain connections for emphatic responses and gentle courtesies results in more brain circuits to be wired in. This not only helps in cognitive learning and language skills, but also develops positive emotional skills as well.
Wrapping up, the rule for brain wiring is “use it or lose it”. Although tough, doing these small things in your daily life can help develop good brain power among your child. Moreover, you would be doing it as much for your child as for yourself!